Despite expectations and all previous live-action versions of him, classic Spider-Man character Flash Thompson will apparently not be portrayed as a “bully” in Spider-Man: Homecoming. According to lead actor Tom Holland, the usual jock-picks-on-nerd motif is no longer part of that relationship in the forthcoming movie.
Eugene “Flash” Thompson has been an an enemy and (on occasion) a friend to the web-slinging hero since his very first appearance in Amazing Fantasy comics way back in 1962. In his original incarnation, he was the typical blond-haired jock, a high school football player who bullied everyone weaker than him. Of course, geeky Peter was a target, but ironically he hero-worshipped Spider-Man and his vigilante antics.
Over the years, as the characters went to college, Flash became good friends with Peter and was even his best-man when he married Mary-Jane Watson in the 1980’s comics. Since the character (at least the traditional Earth 616 version) has evolved in surprising ways, from being a corporal in the US army he lost his legs in the Iraq War to more recent years where he’s actually bonded with the alien symbiote suit that had turned Eddie Brock into anti-hero Venom. With the bio-mass giving him artificial legs, he controlled the evil impulse of the creature and become Agent Venom, working for the government in teams like the Thunderbolts and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
However, the films have never moved far beyond that early depiction of Flash as a high school bully, only giving brief glimpses of him in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (played by Joe Manganiello), and The Amazing Spider-Man movies, where did become Peter’s friend, but hardly appeared on screen after that. A sizzle-reel in the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con revealed the identity of the actor playing Flash, which was Tony Revolori who was best known for his role in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Despite early reports stating that Revolori’s interpretation would be a smug bully again, that no longer seems to be the case. According to Holland himself, who spoke to the Disney Channel as part of A Fans Guide to Spider-Man: Homecoming (via YouTube), the relationship is more of a friendly rivalry;
“One of the main differences from the previous movies is that we don’t really have a bully. His main rival is Flash. They have this really funny back-and-forth.”
A self-confessed “comic-book nerd“, Revolori also speaks of his excitement in playing a character that is so well-known in the comics;
“I feel like I’m actually becoming more and more like my character. I’m always like the guy you’re like “Flash, right?” and now in real life you’re like “Tony, right?”
Movie clips from the show seem to support a slightly less volatile relationship between the two students. In one sequence Flash briefly taunts Peter with a “S’up Parker?” whilst nudging him with his sports car. Another scene shows an annoyed Flash berating Peter’s absence from a school team, saying; “You can’t just quit on us, stroll up, and then be welcomed back by everyone!” … only for a high-school teacher to do just that. It’s an altogether different depiction of the character, and certainly miles away from the arrogant school jock of past years. Judging by the footage so far, it’ll be interesting to see just how much the character will be involved in the plot and how the characters will ultimately interact.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released on July 07, 2017.
Source: The Disney Channel